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Daily Authority: 🚗 Cars have a subscription problem

Owning cars could become very annoying, the US Air Force is testing a Matrix-style weapon, and more in today's edition.

Published onJuly 14, 2022

🌅 Good morning, folks. Hope you woke up on the right side of the bed today. I didn’t. Literally. And now I have shoulder pain I am fighting through to bring you today’s edition of Daily Authority. Okay, it’s not all that dramatic 😂. Here’s what went down while you were snoozing.

Automakers are coming for your wallets…every month

Buying a new car is a big deal for most folks. They save money, compare models and brands, make a checklist of features they want, and so on. But imagine having to shell out extra monthly payments for things that once came free with cars. For instance, would you pay a monthly subscription fee just to use Android Auto or Apple CarPlay in your car? I, for one, won’t. As The Verge points out, here’s why the future of cars may be a subscription mess.

The present

  • Let’s face it — the auto industry is in the slow lane right now.
  • Sales are dipping owing to supply chain constraints and a global slump in demand.
  • So how do auto companies make money? Well, they are taking the subscription route.
  • Did you know BMW previously tried to sell an $80 yearly subscription to Apple CarPlay in 2019? They dropped it later because, thankfully, common sense prevailed.
  • But automakers aren’t done with getting you to pay for features that were once free.
  • BMW now charges a £10 (~$12) monthly subscription for heated seats in the UK.
  • Toyota makes drivers pay $8/month if they want some connected services, including the ability to start their cars remotely.
  • Volkswagen, Toyota, Audi, Cadillac, Porsche, and Tesla have all dabbled in subscription models for certain options, such as driver-assist features or voice recognition.

The future

  • With more computers and software features headed to cars, automakers have more opportunities to charge for subscription-based services.
  • Industry analysts predict that subscriptions are coming to mass-market cars. That means they are coming for us, guys!
  • Electric, connected, and autonomous vehicles all scream “subscription services.”
  • GM already earns billions from in-car subscription services.
  • The company’s SVP recently said customers are willing to spend $135/month on services.
  • With 16 million+ cars on the road, imagine the potential of offering more and more subscription services.
  • People are essentially paying car companies to remove a software block or enable an existing function.
  • In the future, we could end up paying for something as essential as a software upgrade.
  • Unless automakers lower car prices to offset subscription services, the whole thing is a bad idea.


📵 “The studied casualness of the Nothing launch struck me as disingenuous” — AA’s Bogdan Petrovan shares his thoughts on the Nothing Phone 1‘s launch event and why he felt it was “transparently manipulative” (Android Authority).

💜 BTS vibes: Samsung just leaked a new Galaxy S22 colorway, and it’s made for the K-pop tribe (Android Authority).

🖼️ Endless train tracks, a bridge to heaven, and an acorn in all its macro beauty — here are some awesome wallpapers for your phones, tablets, and PCs (Android Authority).

📱 Do you ever place your phone screen-down on a surface? We just want to know, given the Nothing Phone 1’s standout Glyph interface at the back. So vote in our poll and share your thoughts (Android Authority).

Qualcomm says the next Snapdragon chip for smartwatches is “coming soon” (9to5Google). On that note, here are the best smartwatches you can buy right now (Android Authority).

📸DIY hero: Here’s how a photographer turned a Game Boy Pocket into a mirrorless camera (Gizmodo).

🍏 Done for good! Apple and ace product designer Jony Ive have finally parted ways. Will the man who had a hand in designing everything from iMacs to iPhones, iPods, Apple Watches, and more crossover to the Android side? (The New York Times).

📺 The final Peaky Blinders season was great, innit, my friends? If you miss the British crime drama, here are more shows just like it (Android Authority).

🎮 Ready, set, game! Here’s the inaugural game catalog for PlayStation Plus available to Extra and Premium members starting July 19 (PlayStation Blog).

🤖 The next time you see Android 13, it’ll be in its stable form! Meanwhile, here’s what the latest beta brings (Android Authority).

💀 RIP, Red Dead Online: Players and admirers gathered online to mourn the end of the game. It was a beautiful funeral (Games Radar).

🤕 Ouch! What’s worst than stepping on a lego? (r/askreddit).

Thursday Thing: A weapon to kill electronics

firestick in flames saturated 1 1
Adam Birney / Android Authority

The US Air Force is testing a new weapon designed to kill electronics instead of humans. We’ll take that trade any day, thank you. Also, does this give anyone else The Matrix vibes? You know how they occasionally use EMP bombs to kill the machines? Anyway…the real thing is much cooler.

  • No, it won’t fry your Fire TV Stick remote. That’s the only image we had of a burning electronic 🤯.
  • The device is called the High-Powered Joint Electromagnetic Non-Kinetic Strike Weapon, or HiJENKS.
  • It results from a five-year project to create a weapon that can destroy electronics in a targeted way.
  • The weapon can disable electronics without using physical force or damage.
  • Essentially, it fries 🍳 electronics with pulsed bursts of microwave energy.
  • And it can fit in the case of a bomber-launched cruise missile 💣.
  • It could also be in various other weapons, from drone payloads to plane-mounted weapon pods.
  • Currently, the Office of Naval Research and the Air Force Research Laboratory is conducting a two-month trial of HiJENKS.

Neat, right? Now go check out how Adam Savage from Tested built his very own Matrix-style EMP switch from scratch.

Have a nice day. TGIF tomorrow!

Adamya Sharma, Editor